Author: Tracy

Guest Review: Until It Fades by KA Tucker

Posted June 26, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Until It Fades by KA TuckerReviewer: Tracy
Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker
Published by Atria Books
Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
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four-stars

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

Catherine has had a hard life since she was 17.  She always felt like an outsider in her family as she wasn’t the overachiever her siblings were.  When she falls in love with her teacher and her mother finds out all hell breaks loose and she forces Catherine to report him to the police.  She eventually recants her story (even though they were having an affair) but the damage is done to her reputation.  She eventually drops out of school and when she turns 18 moves out of her family’s home.

She gets a job at a truck stop as a waitress but 7 months after the ordeal with her teacher she finds out she’s pregnant.  Being a single mother is hard but she does it and does it well.  She’s never lived down her “reputation” as she lives in a small town but she lives her life as best she can and tries to protect her now 5 year old daughter from her past.

On the way home from a horrid blind date she comes across a car accident where the driver has been killed.  The passenger is stuck in the car but despite it being on fire she manages to pull the large man free and saves his life.  She’s now thought of as a hero – especially when it’s discovered that the man she pulled out of the burning vehicle is a famous hockey player.  Catherine doesn’t want fame and fortune and no compensation from the hockey player.  He does want to meet her, however, and when they meet the sparks fly. Catherine would love to be with Brett but she knows she’s just an ordinary woman and he couldn’t possibly want someone like her.  How wrong she is.

Until it Fades is a lovely slow-burn romance that I thoroughly enjoyed.  The build up to Brett and Catherine finally coming together was wonderful (maybe a bit slower than what I would have liked but it worked) and the passion that explodes between the two of them is intense.  From the moment they saw each other after the accident they connected and eventually become friends.  Catherine has quite a self-esteem issue because of how she was treated in the past but her incredibly wonderful friends and Brett help her get over it all.  I loved how the few friends that she had, and eventually her family, surrounded her with support and love, each in their own way.

The story kept me on my toes with all of the ins and outs of the story, flashbacks to her high school days, and current events.  KA Tucker wrote a great story and one I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

Guest Review: Sworn to Protect by Diana Gardin

Posted June 22, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Sworn to Protect by Diana GardinReviewer: Tracy
Sworn to Protect by Diana Gardin
Series: Rescue Ops #1
Published by Forever Yours
Publication Date: June 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
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three-half-stars

To keep her safe, he'll have to uncover all her secrets...

Rayne Alexander. A face I never thought I'd see again, and one I never could forget. Nine years ago, she left town-and me--without a backward glance. But now she's back, with a haunted look in her eyes and a feisty attitude that didn't exist when we were teenagers. Seeing this grown-up--and sexy--Rayne is something I wasn't prepared for... and it's bringing up feelings I'd thought I'd buried years ago.

Although I want to demand answers from Rayne, working on black ops at Night Eagle Security has taught me that it's sometimes better to keep my mouth shut. So when I catch her hiding a photo of a little boy, I'm curious. When I see her jump as her phone rings, I'm concerned. But the second I notice a car following her home, I know she's hiding something. Something dangerous. And while I may not know why she left or why she's back, if there's someone out there Rayne is afraid of, I'll make damn sure that threat is eliminated.

Rayne was working late at her job in Phoenix, AZ one night when she came across some info on her boss’s desk that she shouldn’t have. The kind of information that could ruin him and put him in prison. He doesn’t catch up with her as she runs from the building but she knows that she needs to get the hell out of Dodge.  She takes her eight-year-old son, Decker, and runs back to her hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina.  When she had first moved to Phoenix she had changed her name so she figures going back to her old name will hide her sufficiently. Not the case.

Rayne moves into her sister’s house as her sister is out of town and gets a job at Night Eagle Security.  She never planned on seeing her high school boyfriend, Jeremy Teague, ever again but the minute he walks into NES – cuz he works there – all of the old feelings start to come back.  Rayne had gotten pregnant by Jeremy when she was a teen and then was cast aside by Jeremy, his grandparents who raised him and then her own parents.  She knows she shouldn’t have any feelings toward Jeremy except disdain but that’s not what happens.  When Jeremy finds out that Decker is his (because he never knew she was pregnant) he’s so excited and wants nothing more than to be with Rayne and Decker and make them a family.

Rayne’s old boss, however, wants her captured and brought to him so that he can take care of her the way he wants.  Jeremy will do anything to keep Rayne and Decker safe but will he be able to in the end?

Sworn to Protect is a good little second chance at love romance/suspense story.  It had a lot of ins and outs and things going on.

Rayne is back in her hometown.  She loved Jeremy when she was younger but his grandparents told her that he wanted nothing to do with the baby when in fact they never told him she was pregnant.  Then her parents took to a clinic to get the baby aborted and she ran.  She’d been living the last 9 years thinking that Jeremy betrayed their love but that wasn’t the case at all.  Once Rayne and Jeremy are together again things fall into place and all is good.  Except for her old boss that’s threatening her.  I was a little confused about the boss, quite frankly.  He was at first after her because of the things she knew about him but then it turned to the fact that he didn’t want her dead he wanted to keep her and tame her sexually – ew.  It was more than a little creepy, to say the least and kind of a weird, expected twist.  Then Jeremy’s grandfather got involved and it was a bit too much.

Of course NES gets involved as that’s what they do but it all seemed a little too easy.  IDK, there was just some aspect of the story that was missing that made this a good book, but not great.  The elements were there but there was something in the execution that was lacking, imho.  The characters were good, the story was a decent one but I definitely didn’t end the book thinking, “Wow, that was really good!”

So in the end a decent read but it wasn’t something that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

Guest Review: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Posted June 21, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Silver Silence by Nalini SinghReviewer: Tracy
Silver Silence by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling Trinity #1, Psy/Changeling #16
Also in this series: Silver Silence, Silver Silence, Caressed By Ice, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, The Magical Christmas Cat, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Slave to Sensation, Tangle of Need, Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter, Shield of Winter, Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Mine to Possess, Hostage to Pleasure, Hostage to Pleasure, Shards of Hope, Shards of Hope, Heart of Obsidian, Caressed By Ice, Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Play of Passion, Allegiance of Honor, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Shield of Winter, Shards of Hope, Allegiance of Honor, Allegiance of Honor, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace, Wild Embrace

Publication Date: June 13th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 464
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four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh returns to her extraordinary Psy-Changeling world with a story of wild passion and darkest betrayal...

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that's exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence--her mind clear of all emotion--Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That's what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious...and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed...

Silver has been Silent since she was very young.  She had to be as it was the only way to save her life.  She is now the director of EmNet and doing a wonderful job at it.  Unfortunately she keeps getting visits from Valentin Nickolaev, the Alpha of the StoneWater Bears.  She should be sending him away on a regular basis but for some reason she’s not.  On one of these visits Valentin saves her life as she had just been unknowingly poisoned.  The only people that could have poisoned her food was family so her grandmother and Valentin work out that Silver should stay in StoneWater territory until they find out who tried to kill her.  Silver hates the plan but figures she’ll recover and then move out asap – probably within a few days.

Once at StoneWater Silver finds a different kind of life than one she’s used to seeing.  Valentin makes no secret of the way he feels about her and when he finally talks her into breaking her Silence she loves every minute of their time together.  Unfortunately as I said earlier she was Silent to save her life.  She has a Psy designation that will soon kill her if not fixed.  She’s loved not being Silent but isn’t ready to die.  A surgery by Ashaya Aleine and her sister, Amara, may save her life but then she’ll probably be 100% Silent.  Valentin is willing to deal with any outcome as long as Silver is alive.

I have to say that reading about Silver in previous books didn’t make me want to read her story.  Kind of like with Kaleb’s book I was, of course, pleasantly surprised.  Silver was a wonderful heroine and I loved her dry sense of humor and the fierceness of her love for Valentin.

Valentin was one persistent bear and I loved that about him.  He knew that Silver was his mate but wasn’t about to let things set just because she was Psy.  He approached slowly but when he had his opportunity he took it and ran with it.  He was a good, good man and had so much love for Silver, his family and the entire bear clan.  It truly warmed my heart to read about this amazing hero.

We also got to learn more about other characters, the Consortium and events that happened with Bowen Knight.  I have no idea what’s going to be happening next in the series but I can’t wait!

Great book, definitely recommend it – like, read it NOW. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

Guest Review: Lip Action by Virna DePaul

Posted June 19, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Lip Action by Virna DePaulReviewer: Tracy
Lip Action by Virna DePaul
Series: Kiss Talent Agency #1
Published by Virna DePaul
Publication Date: April 23rd, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 195
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three-half-stars


Marissa

Appearance is everything to my upper-crust mother, but when she insists I take back my pedigreed-but-cheating ex? I’d rather stab myself with a salad fork. So I blurt out I’m dating someone new. Someone like…that smoking-hot, vaguely familiar guy across the restaurant, who could be the next James Bond.

Turns out he’s the star of my favorite, cheesy, sci-fi soap opera. (Don’t judge me.) One minute I’m fantasizing about Borg and his green-hued abs. The next, Simon Dale is making me an offer my sex-starved body can’t refuse.


Simon

I’m up for a breakout movie role that’ll launch me off the B-list, but I don’t need a script to read the scene between Marissa and her mum. Even though I’m a London gutter rat who never rubbed elbows with a Royal, I easily slip into the role of Marissa’s doting boyfriend. Why? I need a favor in return— a steady girlfriend, just long enough to convince the producers I’ve changed my wild ways.

Trouble is, I’m going all Method on this relationship—and close to losing the one thing that could break me. My heart.

Marissa is kind of Hollywood royalty because of her family’s money.  She doesn’t feel that way and just wants to live her life as a normal person.  Her mother, however, has very different ideas.  When Marissa tells her mother that she broke up with her long-time boyfriend because she found out he’d been cheating on her for 6 months her mother freaks out like it’s the end of the world.  Not that he’d been cheating on Marissa but that she broke it off.  Nice mom.  Not.  Marissa’s mom is insisting that she get back together with her boyfriend but Marissa refuses.  She sees a guy in the country club they’re at and makes up a story saying that she’s already seeing someone new.  Due to a set of circumstances she actually meets the guy and it turns out that he needs a fake girlfriend as well.

Simon is an actor on a TV show where he’s an alien.  He really needs a big break doing some serious film work but no one believes he can do it.  He’s got a playboy reputation and the producers of the one big film he’s being considered for think his reputation will be bad for publicity.  Simon’s not the person they think he is.  He grew up in the streets of London but he got him and his sister out.  He lives simply and saves his money as he doesn’t feel he deserves better.  When he meets Marissa he tells her that it’s all fake but the more time he spends with her the more he can’t get her out of his head.  Unfortunately they’re ruse depends on the producers believing them as well as Marissa’s parents never finding out who he really is.

This was a cute story.  It was a pretty simple fake relationship story but I like the way the author threw some curve balls in there for us.  Having Simon grow up as a London gutter rat was an interesting aspect of the story and of course that effected almost all of his decisions.  He was a good guy and not an actor that made some money and then lived lavishly.  He lived above a bar and saved his money.

Marissa was a woman who had lived under her mother’s thumb for so long she truly didn’t know how to get out from under it.  Being with Simon made her look at her life differently and want to stand up to her mother and do what she wanted with her life.  She grew a lot during the course of the book and I liked who she was at the end.

The relationship with Marissa and Simon started out as just playing a part, then just sex and then more.  Of course neither admitted it which is always frustrating when that happens with characters but I liked that they worked it all out in the end.  Overall it was a fun book and I definitely enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

Guest Review: A Suitable Affair by Erica Taylor

Posted June 16, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: A Suitable Affair by Erica TaylorReviewer: Tracy
A Suitable Affair by Erica Taylor
Published by Amberjack Publishing
Publication Date: June 6th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 332
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four-stars

Despite being beautiful and wealthy, Lady Susanna Macalister’s marriage prospects are rather lacking. To avoid a life of spinsterhood, she decides a loveless marriage to the dull and unromantic Lord Riverton is better than none at all. But still, Susanna longs for true, passionate love, the kind she grew up hearing stories about.

Enjoying a quiet walk with her insipid suitor one afternoon, Susanna is nearly trampled by the handsome Earl of Westcott as he rides through Hyde Park. Driven by his own guilt and despair, the earl embraces this chance encounter as an opportunity for vengeance, for Lord Riverton is the very man whom Wescott suspects is responsible for the untimely death of his beloved sister. But is his mission of separating Susanna from Lord Riverton simply a desire to save another unsuspecting lady from his sister’s fate, or something deeper?

As Susanna helps Lord Westcott investigate her future fiance, she realizes she might have found what she was looking for all along. Can the pair keep their budding romance a secret from everyone around them until the investigation is over? Or will the unsuspecting Lord Riverton win Susanna’s hand in marriage before the truth comes out?

Susanna “runs into” Lord Ian Wescott in an unconventional manner and is a bit infuriated at the man.  When he approaches her to let her know that her fiancé is not a man she should be spending time with she pretty much blows him off as she thinks he just doesn’t like Lord Riverton.  You see, Lord Riverton had been Ian’s sister’s fiancé at the time of her kidnapping and murder and then refused to pay the ransom.  Not only that but then demanded her dowry for breach of contract when she was killed.  (I could see why he would have concerns about the man’s character.)

While Ian’s and Susanna’s friendship grows so do their feelings for each other.  They say they’re just friends but each knows how the other feels about them and keeps it to themselves. Ian works for the Home Office and does investigations – not that anyone knows that.  Because of that he knows that he can never settle down.  He’s on the go constantly and he can’t be a family man when he’s gone all the time.

When Susanna and Ian are falling in love, Ian is investigating Riverton.  He knows that Riverton is involved in not only his sisters kidnapping and murder but the kidnapping and murders of at least 6 other women – he just has to prove it. Susanna agrees to be bait for Ian’s investigation but when it comes down to it he may not be able to save her.

What a great story.  I loved that Ian and Susanna were friends before they became lovers.  Their friendship and banter made me smile more than a time or two.  I loved reading about them and their antics together.  I think the thing I loved about it was on the outside everything was above board and I could very much believe that it all was happening.  Well done on Taylor’s part.

The suspense part of the story was a good one as well.  I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the way it all went down in the end as it seemed a bit abrupt – as was the general ending of the book.  Those two issues were the only reason this got 4 stars instead of 5.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the story of Susanna’s brother – the cold duke.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars